Little Wish

PHOTO PROMPT © Priya Bajpai

Written for Friday_Fictioneers 

Little Wish

“Can I read just one wish?” Rita asked.


“Just a tiny peek!”

“If you read the wish, then God won’t grant it. You should know better, mum,” Thea answered matter-of-factly.

That night, after Thea went to sleep, Rita couldn’t help herself. She had to see what her daughter wrote meticulously each night and put in the mason jar on the dining table.

She opened a yellow one.

“Please send little Theo back.” It read.

Rita opened another one. The same five words. She read all the chits and all had just one wish.


The Last Laugh

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

This post is written for Friday Fictioneers.

Kat wore the flashy amethyst pendant to her “good friend” Sarah’s tea party. Today, she would burst Sarah’s bubble that her holier-than-thou husband had a string of mistresses. Kat smiled maliciously.

“I have the exact same pendant.” The model seated beside Kat pouted. She was lovely and fashionably anaemic.

“It’s a gift from my husband,” Kate supplied.

“And my lover gifted it to me,” the model provoked.

“The colour reminds him of the English …

“lavender – delicate but heady just like me.” The model finished.

Kat, shocked, looked at Sarah. Sarah with her big innocent eyes, smiled.

Love in the rain

“On hindsight, your idea of putting up umbrellas was a wiser decision,” Brian admitted good humoredly. Sarah smiled.

Brian had wanted to put up kites. But the decorating team had vetoed against. Good thing they did, though Brian had sulked for days on end.

Today, was the first day of the street festival and the floodgates of heaven had opened. Visitors caught in the unexpected rains were silently thanking the colourful umbrellas perched high up.

“I still have one left from the lot. Care for a coffee?” Sarah asked.

Under the yellow umbrella started a brand-new love story.


PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

This post is written for Friday Fictioneers.


Haunted House

“Dare you to spend the night in the haunted house.”

Dave accepted the challenge. He did not fear the old crumbling house with peeling paint and broken windows. He had spent many afternoons lying under the cherry tree in its backyard.

After dinner, Dave walked up to the house, plopped down on the dusty sofa and went off to sleep. At midnight, the grandfather clock in the living room chimed. Next, Dave heard a blood-curling scream. He jumped off the sofa and ran out of the house screaming.

Some boys were rolling on the floor laughing. Boys will be boys.

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

This post is written for Friday Fictioneers.

La pleine lune

PHOTO PROMPT © Gah Learner

It was that time of the month when the stars twinkled in full glory. The snow capped mountains looked more magical. The usually calm lake danced in quivered delight.

Joanna standing at the bridge looked up at the silvery orb of the moon and sighed. On one such night many full moons ago, their eyes had met on this bridge. She knew she had found her âme sœur. She waited for him every full moon. In vain.

Little did she know that he was waiting for her too. Only at the bottom of the lake.

This post is written for Friday Fictioneers.


Evil bottle

She opened the door to be greeted with cobwebs, dirt and stale air. She was visiting the house after 10 long years. Nothing seemed to have changed.

She found a mountain of cigarette stubs and a half-finished bottle of whiskey in the living room. That’s where her mother’s body was found. She had committed suicide, they said.

She opened the bottle and sniffed. It smelled nice. Her father forbade her to drink.
“Drinking is evil. It turned your mother into a devil.”

Curious she put the bottle to her mouth.


PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

Written for: Friday Fictioneers

Hotel Night Magic

Short Story. Flash Fiction. Photo Prompt. Fiction. Paranormal. Horror.
Hotel Night Magic – Open 24 Hours

She had been driving for five hours straight, without a single break. But she was tired now. Maybe she should call it a night and look for a hotel. After half an hour, she came across a big lighted sign which read

Hotel Night Magic

Open 24 hours

After a few turns, she came to a square in a small town. She saw the hotel. The lights were on. She breathed a sigh of relief. As she was about to enter the glass door of the hotel, someone grabbed her hand. Lily jumped with fright. It was an old beggar.

“Don’t go inside. It’s a crazy place.”

Lily took a close look at the shabbily dressed woman. She was reeking of cheap alcohol.

“Leave me alone.” Lily tried to free her hand of the beggar’s clutch.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” The next moment she disappeared in the darkness of the nearby alley.

Shaking her head, Lily stepped inside into the brightly lit reception area of the hotel. There was no one at the front desk. She pressed the bell. After what seemed like an eternity, a man in his early fifties appeared.

“Hello Mam. I am Ranjan. How can I help you?”

“I want a room for one night.”

“Sure mam.” Lily paid in cash.

“Is your luggage in the car mam.”

“No. It was a day trip that got extended.” She lied.

“This is your room key, mam. 333, third floor, third room on the right. We don’t have an elevator. The staircase is to your left.”

The bed was comfortable but sleep still eluded her. She couldn’t get the image of her drunk husband running after her with the copper statue ready to hit her out of her mind. Luckily, she escaped. Slowly the exhaustion took over and Lily drifted off to a dreamless sleep.

A couple of hours later, Lily woke up to very loud music. It was as if huge drums were beating mercilessly.

What is this madness in the middle of the night! She got up to dial the reception but saw there was no intercom. Putting on the clothes, she went down. But, the concierge wasn’t there. She went to his quarter and knocked at the door. But, no one answered. She opened the door. The room was empty.

She went to the first floor and banged on the bedroom doors. She went to the second floor and knocked on the doors. She got no reply. She opened the rooms one by one. Each one of them was unlived in.

She was the only person in this hotel.

The realisation dawned on her. She was scared. She ran down the stairs and out of the hotel. She knocked on the houses beside the square. There was no one.

Hysterical she sat in her car and started driving. She turned right, but a few minutes later, she realised she had come upon the same square before the hotel. She must have taken the wrong turn. This time she took a left. But again she came to the hotel.

What was happening? Was there a way out of this damn place?

Someone knocked at the window. She woke up with a startled cry. The beggar from the previous night was peering through the window.

This woman will be the cause of my death. She thought.

The bright morning sun blinded her. The square was bustling with activity. Magpies were chirping. Children were going to school. People were headed towards work.

Getting out of the car, she asked the woman, “What did you tell me last night?”

The woman looked confused. “Me? I have never met you before. Are you drunk?”

Fat calling me drunk. Lily cursed silently.

She looked at the hotel. She had to find out. The concierge was standing at the front desk.

“Hello Mam. I am Ranjan. How can I help you?” He didn’t recognize her.

“I am a guest here. My room is 333.”

“That’s impossible, mam. We have only two floors. There is no room 333.” The concierge smiled.

“Are you pulling my leg? Yesterday night I slept in that room. I can show you.”

They went up the stairs and came to the third floor. But he was right, there was no third floor. Only a big terrace. Lily was speechless.

Was she hallucinating? Did she dream it all?

Lily raced down the stairs as fast as her legs could take her. Starting her car, she zoomed off the cursed square. Within minutes she reached the national highway. She vowed to never drive in the night again.


I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction
Write Tribe Writing Festival

The Other World

Short story, Photo prompt, fiction, fiction writing, children stories, fantasy
Write Tribe Fiction Festival – Photo Prompt

Rhea took Pixie for a gallop in the woods. Far away from her house by the lake and her parents who fought all the time, when there was a reason and when there wasn’t. She had had enough of their bickering. Very soon she would go to a boarding school.

Rhea realised that she had reached a part of the woods that she had never been before. There was a clearing in the middle of the forest with a big patch of thick green grass. Getting off Pixie, she tied her saddle to the nail on a tree. The grass and the warm sunshine beckoned Rhea to lie down and very soon she went off to sleep. When she woke up Pixie was nowhere to be found.

Where had Pixie gone? An agitated Rhea pulled at the nail on the tree. Suddenly there was a loud noise and the tree started splitting from the middle. Rhea immediately stepped back. There appeared a large blue door in the middle of the tree. Excitedly Rhea pushed the door and stepped on the other side.

There was a stream of fresh water gurgling over the stones. Cattle were grazing on the mountain slope. At a distance, she could see kids playing. She walked towards them. It was a huge square with park at one corner. Kids were playing in the park while adults were having their lunch in the sunshine.

Rhea’s tummy gave an angry growl. She realised she had left her lunch untouched on the table as her parents had started arguing.

An old lady with a crown of grey hair and a face full of wrinkles looked at Rhea and offered her a sandwich.

Rhea shook her head. She had been told not to take food from strangers.

“We are nice people. We are not mean to our kids.” The old lady said. Rhea felt like trusting her and took the sandwich.

“Come sit. You seem to have come over from the human world.” The lady commented.

“Human world? Why what is this place? Where I am?”

“This is the other world. There are nails on trees strategically placed in different parts of the world. The nail acts as a lever that opens up the door to this world. Only people with pure heart who are miserable in the human world can find this nail.”

No wonder that nail looked suspiciously odd on a tree in a forest. Rhea thought.

“What is this other world?” Rhea couldn’t contain her curiosity.

“It’s a happy place. Here, we do not fight. There is no greed. We grow our own food and share the surplus with our neighbours. There is no poor, there is no rich. Every one is equal. And also, there is no money.”

Rhea had never experienced poverty herself but she knew it was not a nice thing. Also, by now, she knew that having lots of money didn’t necessarily make a person happy. Her parents were good examples of that theory.

“We do not have TV, computers and phones. Here, people hold real conversations and parents spend time with their children, take them on picnics, go for treks and camping.”

“Wow!” This seemed like a very nice place. Why couldn’t they have something similar in the human world? She wondered.

“Young girl, I think you should leave now. The sun is about to set. Once it does, you will never be able to leave this place.”

Rhea stood up and planted a soft kiss on the elderly lady’s cheeks which felt like crepe paper but smelled of love, purity and wisdom.

She then turned towards the way she had come. On the way, she saw a lone horse grazing at the grass. That was her Pixie. Taking hold of her reins, she started walking towards the blue door. The door opened.

As Rhea was about to step over, she hesitated. And the next moment the door closed with a finality. The sun had set. And for once, Rhea was happy. But where was she?

Where do you think Rhea chose to be?


I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction
Write Tribe Writing Festival

The Sacrifice

Short story, fiction writing, photo prompt, flash fiction, the sacrifice, the staircase
The Sacrifice – Flash Fiction

She started packing her clothes. She was generally a neat person, but today she was throwing clothes haphazardly in her trunk. Leaving her red bridal saree behind, she picked up the trunk in one hand and left the room.

He came out of his trance when he realised he was all alone in the bedroom. He ran after her and caught up with her as she was climbing down the giant staircase.

“Hear me out, Damayanti.” He told her politely.

If he had shouted, she would have not paid heed. But his soft voice broken with despair made her stop.

She put the trunk down and sat on the step. He too sat beside her.

“Haven’t you said enough? Now, you hear me out.” Damayanti croaked. Damayanti’s cheeks were wet with tears. As soon as she wiped them, fresh hot ones came gushing out of her eyes.

“Do you realise what you have done? Just because you were not strong enough to stand up to your father, you have spoilt my life. I could have married Kedar, the love of my life. But, your father came to my home seeking my hand in marriage. He offered a sum that my poor baba couldn’t refuse. He even promised baba that he would give back my father’s land without charging interest. Baba didn’t think twice before saying yes. No one asked me what I wanted? And now this?”

“Why did you marry me?” She shouted at him.

“Shshsh….! Speak softly, Damayanti. People will wake up.”

“As if I care. Let them all know the truth. Let them know that the favourite son of the house is not interested in women, but men.” She said again in a loud pitch.

“Damayanti, I beg of you. Please talk softly. What do you think will happen if you leave me? Have you thought it through? My father will send his goons to your house – no one in your family will see tomorrow’s sunrise. That’s what you want? As for me, he will get me married again to another girl whose poor father will agree to marry his daughter against money and land.” Roshan laid out the terms matter-of-factly.

Fresh bout of tears flowed down Damayanti’s cheeks. Her mehendi hadn’t even faded while her marriage had already ended. She realised what Roshan was saying was true. She couldn’t do this to her poor parents and her siblings. Her life was done for.

“All you have to do is bear me a couple of sons. I know it won’t be easy but you will have a comfortable life here, I promise you.”

She nodded.

“Do you think it’s easy for me? Like you, I love someone too. But if they come to know that I love a man, both he and I will be hanged on the banyan tree at the village square, do you understand?”

For the first time, Damayanti felt the anguish in his voice. Like her, he was suffering too. She had always thought that it was a sin to be born poor. But now she realised it was a sin to be born different too.

“Maybe in the next birth we can both be free of our sins.”

“Maybe we won’t have to wait until then for the winds to change.” There was hope in his voice.

Damayanti put her head on Roshan’s shoulder. Sitting on the staircase, they both dreamed of a different world.


I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction
Write Tribe Writing Festival

Hidden Rings

Fiction short story carnival
Do they meet after 10 years?

Reuben and Sarah were best friends since they were 5 years old. They were neighbours, classmates and went to the school in the same bus. When they grew up and wanted to explore sex, they slept together. It was the most natural thing to do. So, it was only natural that when they turned 21 years old, their parents talked to them about marriage.

“But I don’t want to get married. I want to get out of this hell hole and explore the world. I want to do something great and not tied down with a wife and kids.” Reuben told Sarah.

Sarah nodded. “I have never known any other boy except you, Reuben. Even I don’t want to be tied down to the person with whom I have grown up. I want to meet other boys, flirt with them, break their hearts, cry in love and then may be settle down with a fine young man.”

“So, it’s decided. We are not getting married.” Sarah agreed.

Three months later, Reuben was flying out of India. The morning before Reuben was leaving, he called Sarah to meet him at their usual haunt – on the beach behind the rock. Reuben showed Sarah two gold rings with their names engraved.

“Sarah, no one knows us better than each other. We also complement each other well. Let’s meet here 10 years from today. If by that time, we are both unengaged and want to get married to each other, we will dig up these rings. However, even if one of us is unwilling, we will leave the matter unspoken and meet again after 10 years.”

They dug up a hole under the giant rock and hid the rings. The two friends hugged each other for a long time.

Ten years later, they met at the beach behind the same rock.

Reuben was a photojournalist and was traveling from one country to another and scaling one mountain after another. He was living his dream. Sarah was a homing bird. In all these years, she didn’t leave Goa even for a day. However, her husband had left her recently.

Reuben hugged a distraught Sarah. The rings stayed there, forgotten under the sand.

The sands of time continued to fall. Ten years later, Sarah reached the venue earlier. She dug up the rings and hid them in her pockets. She was looking forward to meeting Reuben and had been counting months, weeks and days.

At 41, he was a good-looking man. Save for a few grey hair at the temples, age had more or less left him untouched. He had also become hugely popular. His heart-wrenching photo-story of the Soviet-Afghan war had earned him many accolades.

“How are you, Sarah?” Reuben asked, his concern genuine which made Sarah feel warm to her bones.

“Better now after having seen you. You are going places, mister!” Sarah teased him.

“You don’t have any idea, Sarah. It’s the most exciting time of my life. My work’s getting appreciated from all corners of the world. Every week I am in a new country. Girls are literally throwing themselves at my feet.”

“So, what are the plans for the future?” Sarah asked. She wasn’t so confident anymore.

“The same as usual. Visit more places, capture more images and tell more stories.” Reuben was too much concentrated on himself to see Sarah’s smile falter and her eyes welled up.

“Sarah, you should marry again. Let bygones be bygones. You deserve to be happy,” were Reuben’s last words before he left.

Sarah put the rings back in their rightful place and left the beach all alone. Thankfully, no one could see her crying in the dark.

It was 1st May. Thirty years ago, they had made the promise to meet each other at the rock, behind the beach. They had not broken their promise once. Today was no exception.

“Sarah, I have come back for good.”

Reuben was amazed at the way Sarah looked. Her face was calm, her actions unhurried and her eyes looked as if they had found inner peace.

“I don’t want to live out of a suitcase anymore. Even after 30 years, I couldn’t build a place I can call home. I have seen the greed and pettiness in men who have more wealth than they need. I have also seen the hunger and misery in kids of war-ravaged countries. I am tired of travelling the world. I have realised that Goa is indeed the best.”

Sarah smiled.

“Sarah, here are our rings, let’s get married. It’s time we lived happy together.” Reuben was holding the gold rings with their names.

“I am afraid that’s not possible, Reuben.”

Reuben was surprised. He knew Sarah was not married. She was not wearing a ring.


“I am leaving the pleasures of the mortal world and embracing the Faith.”

The rings never saw the light of the day again.


I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction
Write Tribe Writing Festival